Women Empowerment Programs | Gender inequality

Find out which programs in India enable women to become independent and protect themselves from violence.

Empowering women is not just about helping a woman earn a living. It also refers to ways of accessibility at every stage of life for a girl to grow into an independent woman. “India will only develop fully if girls and boys are equally supported to reach their full potential,” said a UNICEF report.

Hence, female empowerment programs in India have been designed to close the gender gap in education, security, child domestic labor, sexual abuse, child marriage and violence. Here are a few you need to know.

Beti Bachao Program Beti Padhao

Launched in 2015, the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao program aims to protect a young girl from sex-selective abortion. In this framework, the Indian government is also promoting “Save Girl Child” and “Educate Girl Child”.

In 2021, the Parliamentary Committee on Women’s Empowerment told Lok Sabha that 78.91% of the program’s funds were exhausted on advertisements meant to let people know about it.


This scheme was launched in 2018 and supports women without economic and social support. Within this framework, victims of natural disasters, women released from prison and victims of human trafficking and domestic violence receive food, shelter, medical care and clothing.

Under this program, women can also benefit from legal assistance. Another part provides vocational training for women through the Skills Development Initiative (SDI) of the Ministry of Labor Employment or the Ministry of Skills Development. It is also mandatory that these foster homes have recreational facilities.

Women’s Training and Employment Support Program (STEP)

training swadher greh

The women’s training and employment support program strives to train women and help them become entrepreneurs if they wish. It came into force in 1986-87. It is aimed at women aged 16 and over.

NGOs can apply for grants under this program and use the fund for vocational training to increase women’s employment opportunities. Beneficiaries can be trained in embroidery, agriculture, looms, handicrafts, computer services, sewing, etc. The program also includes training for the development of soft skills.

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Mahila E-Haat

The Mahila E-Haat program is for all women who want to start their own business. It provides an online platform for women to market their products and services. The program was launched in 2016 as part of the “Digital India” and “Stand Up India” initiatives.

E-Haat online requires the number of beneficiaries as well as a description, cost and photographs of the products. It offers the buyer the possibility to contact the seller by e-mail, physical contact or telephone conversation.

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domestic violence

After the Nirbhaya gang rape case in 2012, this regime was enforced and funds were relieved to implement strict rules and improve the safety of women in India. The Department of Economic Affairs disburses the funds and the Ministry of Women and Child Development takes care of the expenditures.

The Non-Perishable Corpus Fund assists victims of sexual violence by providing integrated services including medical assistance, police facilitation, psychosocial counseling and legal support.


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Mara R. Wilmoth